HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Almost as disturbing as t...

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 12:02 PM

Almost as disturbing as the Russion connection, there's the Robert and Rebekah Mercer money

There are plenty of other articles about uber-billionaire Robert Mercer, computer scientist turned hedge fund guy and his connection with Bannon and thereby Trump, but this New Yorker article has so many little details about the Mercer family, their aims and the master-minding of the media ecosystem.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency

Excerpts:

Trump greeted Caddell warmly in North Charleston, and after giving a speech he conferred privately with him, in an area reserved for V.I.P.s and for White House officials, including Stephen Bannon, the President’s top strategist, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Caddell is well known to this inner circle. He first met Trump in the eighties. (“People said he was just a clown,” Caddell said. “But I’ve learned that you should always pay attention to successful ‘clowns.’ ”) Caddell shared the research he did for Mercer with Trump and others in the campaign, including Bannon, with whom he has partnered on numerous projects.

The White House declined to divulge what Trump and Caddell discussed in North Charleston, as did Caddell. But that afternoon Trump issued perhaps the most incendiary statement of his Presidency: a tweet calling the news media “the enemy of the American people.” The proclamation alarmed liberals and conservatives alike. William McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who commanded the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, called Trump’s statement a “threat to democracy.” The President is known for tweeting impulsively, but in this case his words weren’t spontaneous: they clearly echoed the thinking of Caddell, Bannon, and Mercer. In 2012, Caddell gave a speech at a conference sponsored by Accuracy in Media, a conservative watchdog group, in which he called the media “the enemy of the American people.” That declaration was promoted by Breitbart News, a platform for the pro-Trump alt-right, of which Bannon was the executive chairman, before joining the Trump Administration. One of the main stakeholders in Breitbart News is Mercer.

::::::::
Patterson also recalled Mercer arguing that, during the Gulf War, the U.S. should simply have taken Iraq’s oil, “since it was there.” Trump, too, has said that the U.S. should have “kept the oil.” Expropriating another country’s natural resources is a violation of international law. Another onetime senior employee at Renaissance recalls hearing Mercer downplay the dangers posed by nuclear war. Mercer, speaking of the atomic bombs that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, argued that, outside of the immediate blast zones, the radiation actually made Japanese citizens healthier. The National Academy of Sciences has found no evidence to support this notion. Nevertheless, according to the onetime employee, Mercer, who is a proponent of nuclear power, “was very excited about the idea, and felt that it meant nuclear accidents weren’t such a big deal.”

Mercer strongly supported the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Trump’s Attorney General. Many civil-rights groups opposed the nomination, pointing out that Sessions has in the past expressed racist views. Mercer, for his part, has argued that the Civil Rights Act, in 1964, was a major mistake. According to the onetime Renaissance employee, Mercer has asserted repeatedly that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement. (Few scholars agree.) He has also said that the problem of racism in America is exaggerated. The source said that, not long ago, he heard Mercer proclaim that there are no white racists in America today, only black racists. (Mercer, meanwhile, has supported a super PAC, Black Americans for a Better Future, whose goal is to “get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party.”)

::::::
In the 2016 campaign, Mercer gave $22.5 million in disclosed donations to Republican candidates and to political-action committees. Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster who worked for the Trump campaign, said that Mercer had “catapulted to the top of the heap of right-of-center power brokers.”

:::::::::::::::
Mercer also invested some five million dollars in Cambridge Analytica, a firm that mines online data to reach and influence potential voters. The company has said that it uses secret psychological methods to pinpoint which messages are the most persuasive to individual online viewers. The firm, which is the American affiliate of Strategic Communication Laboratories, in London, has worked for candidates whom Mercer has backed, including Trump. It also reportedly worked on the Brexit campaign, in the United Kingdom.

::::::::
As important as Mercer’s business investments is his hiring of advisers. Years before he started supporting Trump, he began funding several conservative activists, including Steve Bannon; as far back as 2012, Bannon was the Mercers’ de-facto political adviser. Some people who have observed the Mercers’ political evolution worry that Bannon has become a Svengali to the whole family, exploiting its political inexperience and tapping its fortune to further his own ambitions. It was Bannon who urged the Mercers to invest in a data-analytics firm. He also encouraged the investment in Breitbart News, which was made through Gravitas Maximus, L.L.C., a front group that once had the same Long Island address as Renaissance Technologies. In an interview, Bannon praised the Mercers’ strategic approach: “The Mercers laid the groundwork for the Trump revolution. Irrefutably, when you look at donors during the past four years, they have had the single biggest impact of anybody, including the Kochs.”

::::::
Bannon has often collaborated with Bossie, (leader of Citizen's United) producing half a dozen films with him. In 2012, Bossie suggested a new joint project: a movie that urged Democrats and independents to abandon Obama in the Presidential election. The film’s approach was influenced by polling work that Patrick Caddell had shared with Bannon. The data suggested that attacking Obama was counterproductive; it was more effective to express “disappointment” in him, by contrasting him with earlier Presidents.


Many more details here, but this article lays out the evidence for a thorough-going oligarchic takeover of the US government

5 replies, 377 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Almost as disturbing as the Russion connection, there's the Robert and Rebekah Mercer money (Original post)
MadLinguist Monday OP
gopiscrap Monday #1
Ezior Monday #2
FiveGoodMen Monday #3
MadLinguist Monday #4
BSdetect Monday #5

Response to MadLinguist (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 12:07 PM

1. these folks are fucking crazy

if we don't follow international law we have no room to insist others do. This is the kind of shit that makes other nations want to bomb us. The Mercer's are crazy fucks, it's a tragedy they have the money to get away with a lot shit

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MadLinguist (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 12:18 PM

2. Threat to democracy and our future

These guys are a huge threat.

But what can be done about it?

I'm in favour of heavy progressive income taxes (> 90% for very high income) and wealth taxes. It allows government to reduce taxes on less affluent families (or invest / spend on useful things), but also prevents people from getting TOO DAMN RICH. Extremely rich families can be incredibly dangerous, like the Mercers.

It's important that everyone can be more wealthy by working harder / being more skilled etc, just to have an incentive, but there should be limits.

Of course, if some radical left-wing party in my country talks about these things, the Merkel party will quickly denounce it and explain that rich, skilled people will simply move to the US where they pay lower taxes. And I guess the Merkel party is right about it. Those tax plans should be enacted all over the world at the same time, which is impossible of course…

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ezior (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 12:24 PM

3. Agree completely

After a certain amount, being rich means being King (dictator, whatever).

If we don't want anyone having all the power to themselves, then we can't let them have all the money to themselves.

And I agree that progressive taxes are the way to do it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ezior (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 12:38 PM

4. The uber-rich have to live somewhere, and they prey on the other classes -- in democratic nations

If rich paranoid manipulative people want to move elsewhere, I fail to see how that would hurt the US (though gawd help the country they move to). But they won't. Uber-rich people need the poor, middle and less wealthy upper classes to support their monstrous pyramids of power. The uber-rich benefit from the free flow of ideas, science, engineering and protections of democracies, but some among them, like the Mercers then want to destroy it for their own ends. What about the next day, and the next, greedy-japes?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ezior (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 12:40 PM

5. Trillions are already hidden in foreign accounts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread